Tuesday, November 6, 2012


If someone had told us immediately after this year's disappointing pre-season test that Alonso would be 10 points behind the championship leader with two races left to run, I think we'd be ecstatic.

2012 has been another year where the car's performance has been constantly downplayed, yet Alonso has managed to score good points with it more often than not.  Combined with an excellent reliability record, plus no little luck avoiding other cars (Belgium perhaps excepted) and Alonso has placed himself in position to catch Vettel as the season winds down.

Unfortunately it isn't a case of catching Vettel, per se.  It is more a case of continuing with the reliability and consistency and being in a position to capitalize on Vettel's misfortune.

Sunday in Abu Dhabi offered hints as to what might have been.  Had Vettel not profited from the safety car periods falling when they had, Alonso might have cut the points lead that much more than he did.  However you can't wish away Vettel's good luck any more than Vettel could wish away the bad luck from Saturday.  Had that not happened, I think there's little doubt that the Red Bull would have circulated comfortably ahead of the Ferrari and the points gap would be larger than it is.

Red Bull is clearly the faster car right now -- I think Webber's fumbling around with it shows that the car has elite speed.  Massa's Ferrari still lacks parts that are on Alonso's,  but even so neither Ferrari can seem to live with either Red Bull right now.

With only two races left to run, the odds of a technological breakthrough diminish.  And we are definitely into the part of the season where express effort now against the rest of the 2012 season will negatively impact the 2013 campaign.

I think barring an extraordinary run of bad luck for Vettel, the title is his for 2012.

Those of us who cheer for Ferrari will once again have to be disappointed that the team came so close -- again -- and start contemplating next year.